Akan Clans

Door , 22/08/2009 18:20


Abusua & Nton

All the Akan tribes believe that they are made up of two elements, blood and spirit both of which they obtain from their parents. The blood which comes from the mother determines the clan (Abusua in Akan Language), and the spirit which comes from the father determines the Nton. Since most Akans, are matrilineal, a child is what his/her mother is. Akan societies are matrilineal, with a person belonging to the clan of his mother. Inheritance, succession and status are lineally determined. Therefore a person can be one of the Akan clan only by virtue of the fact that his/her mother is from the clan. It is possible for an Akan not to have nton but impossible not to belong to a clan (an Abusua). At the time of conception or even before, the clan is already determined and once born, the child is stuck with it. There is an Akan/Akuapim saying that the clan is not like a tune that you can change simply because you don’t like it. It falls on the people within the clan to improve it.

The eight clans are Oyoko, Bretuo, Agona, Asona, Asenie, Aduana, Ekuona, and Asakyiri.

There are various beliefs as to the origins of these clans:

Aduana believe that at the time of creation, their ancestors descended from the skies on a golden chain. Others believe that they originally came from Asumanya and they were led by a duiker with a flame in his mouth and gold in his cheeks. They proceeded to Dormaa where they believe the flame is still kept alight. Still others believe that from Asumanya a section of the Aduana clan headed for Akwamu. Some of the principal towns of the Aduana are Dormaa and Akwamu. In Asante a principal towns for the Aduana are Kumawu, Asumanya, Kwaman, Boaman, Agogo, Apromaase, Tikurom, Kaase, Apagya, Bompata, Kwaso, Akyease, Takyiman, Nsuatre, Drobo, Manso-Mmem, Manso-Abodom, and Nyinahen. Members of this clan are hardworking, clever and brave. The symbol of the Aduana is the dog.

People of the Agona clan are predominant in Denkyira and therefore in Asante, Nkawie. It is recommended never to pick a fight with a person from this clan because s/he is likely to have a clan member within the vicinity who will quickly come to his/her aid. The symbol of this clan is the parrot and members of this clan are eloquent. When greeted by a person from this clan, the reply should be, ‘Yaa ago nana’. Some towns of the Agona clan are Tafo, Bodwesango, Fomesua, Asienimpon, Trede Ahwaa, Ampabame.

Asakyiri claim that they were the first to be created by God. Their characteristics are beauty and patience. They are to be found in the Adanse area and their main towns are Akorokyere (Akrokere), Ayaase and Asokore. When greeted by a person from this clan, the reply should be ‘Yaa Ofori nana’. Other towns of the clan are Abofuo, Abrenkese, Asakyiri, and Apeadu.

The symbol of the Asenie is the bat and its main towns are Kumase Amakom and Dompoase. The characteristics of this clan are bravery and diplomacy. When greeted by a person from this clan, the reply should be, ‘Yaa adu nana’. Other towns of this clan are Antoa, Agona, Nkoranza, Wenchi, Atwoma, Kofiase, and Denyase.

The symbol of the Asona is the crow or wild boar and its characteristic is wisdom. It is said that more people generally, belong to this clan than to any other clan. The principal towns are Edweso and Offinso. When greeted by a member of the clan, the reply should be ‘Yaa Ofori nana’. Other towns of the clan are Ejura, Feyiase, Manso-Nkwanta, Bonwire, Atwima-Agogo, Abrakaso, Taabuom, Beposo, Toase, and Odumase.

Bretuo are found mainly in Mampon, Amoafo, and Afigyaase/Effiduase. Its symbol is the leopard and its characteristic is aggressiveness and exceptional bravery. It is worth noting that the commander of the Asante army against Denkyira was the Mamponhene and in the past, generally, matters relating to war in Asante was the domain of the Mamponhene. When greeted by a person from this clan, the reply should be ‘Yaa etwie nana’. Towns of this clan are Jamase, Apaa, Domeabra, Agogo-Hwidiem, Adankranya, and Abuotem.

Ekuona are not found in great numbers in Asante. They are mainly found among the Fantis but in Asante, their main town is Adanse Fomena. The symbol of this clan is the buffalo and its characteristic is uprightness. When greeted, the reply should be, ‘Yaa Doku nana’. Other towns of the clan are Banko, Kona, Asokore-Mampon, Brekum, Kokofu-Abuoso, Adumasa, Heman, Abenkyem, and Duayaw-Nkwanta.

The falcon is the symbol of the Oyoko and its characteristic is patience. It is also the clan from which the Asantehene comes. Its main towns are Kumase, Dwaben and Nsuta. When greeted, the reply should be, ‘Yaa Obiri nana’. Other towns are Kokofu, Bekwae, Mamponten, Bogyae, Dadieso, Obogu, Asaaman Adubiase, Pampaso, Kontanase, Kenyase, and Ntonso.

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